Over the past couple of weeks, my facebook home page has been flooded with news about THE wine fair in Verona- Vinitaly. Giornalists with their take on what to try while there, wineries 'inviting' you to stop by their stands for assaggi. Enough to get me real excited about the trip. Wednesday morning at O dark thirty, my friend, Luca Vicidomini (Tenta Matilde Zasso) picked me up to begin our journey to Verona. Exhibitors need to arrive a day early to set up their stands. So, at 0530, that morning, we began our 7 1/2 hour drive. I must admit that I wasn't much company at first. The first 2 1/2 hours I slept. (I hate long drives!!). Once I did wake up, I looked out the window and enjoyed the view that Italia offered me that sunny morning. I took advantage of the fact that I was in the car with a winery owner and bombarded him with questions about Campania wines, grapes, the different vineyards and vines that I saw along the way....I think he preferred me asleep.
Then, at about 1245, we pulled into Verona and the Convention center.
Friends told me that it would be.
I had no idea...
I mentioned in an earlier blog that Vinitaly hosts around 4,000 exhibitors. These stands need to be constructed, cleaned, products put out, cleaned again, well. you get the picture. I could not imagine what an undertaking it would be. I've been to many fairs, but never the day before. I have a new respect for the people in the wine biz. Many of us who came from Campania got up very early and packed our cars with cases of wine, glasses, and other equipment needed for the fair. After hours in macchina only to arrive and find out that you could not do much because the stands weren't ready. So, a lot of waiting around, hanging out, walking around, running into friends, meeting new ones, eating, resting...you get the picture.
I will have the privilege this week to be helping out in Terre del Principe's stand with Manuela Piancastelli and Peppe Mancini. What an honor, and an opportunity!. Around 7 pm, we finally were able to begin to put some of the stand together, then call it a night. Thursday will be a looong day.